Update On Jamie Leigh Jones

The story of Jamie Leigh Jones shocked the media world, and even provided some unification as voices on both sides of the aisle expressed their outrage that a young woman would not only be gang raped while employed by Kellog, Brown & Root over in Iraq, but also that she would find the path to justice to be such a treacherous one.

It would seem that Ms. Jones still has a long way to go before she finds her way to an ounce of justice, but at the very least it would seem that going public with her story has finally set things in motion.  From the Gavel:

The Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security has just concluded a hearing, “Enforcement of Federal Criminal Law to Protect Americans Working for U.S. Contractors in Iraq.” Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02), Jamie Leigh Jones (pdf), a former employee of Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), and Scott Horton (pdf), Adjunct Professor of Law at the Columbia University School of Law gave testimony. A Justice Department official was expected to attend the hearing for questions on law enforcement and contractors, but did not appear. Rep. Poe, Jones’ Representative and a Republican, described the implication of Jones’ case in his opening statement: “What Jamie will tell you paints a picture of lawlessness–where criminals go unpunished and victims are vilified. For American civilian contractors, Iraq is reminiscent of the Old Western days and no one seems to be in charge.”

There are still glaring deficiencies that are occurring here, but I still take heart in knowing that at least something is now being done.  But even amid this good news, there is something that bothers me immensely (from Congressman Ted Poe):

Since Jamie has gone public with her experience, my office has heard from 3 other women. Of course, my office will furnish the names of these women to the Judiciary Committee if needed. One of the three women is Tracy Barker. Tracy is also a former KBR employee, who says that she was sexually assaulted in Iraq by a State Department employee who still works at the State Department today.

The 2 other women are also former KBR employees. They both report sexual assaults and sexual harassment by their coworkers in Iraq and neither woman has seen any federal law enforcement action. One of the women informed my office that she was molested several times and raped once by her KBR coworkers. When she reported the crime to her immediate supervisor, she was told that they would take care of it. She returned to work two days later and found her rapist working alongside of her. She panicked and called Army MPs, who escorted the rapist off of the base. However, she was subsequently fired. It seems that, unfortunately, Jamie’s case is not unique.

This is deeply disturbing that Jamie Leigh Jones was not an isolated incident but merely the tip of the iceberg.  With three more women, I am left to wonder how many remain silent.

Being the victim of sexual abuse is difficult enough, but one thing that has always saddened me is that occurrences are under reported.  Sexual abuse victims often times feel too ashamed or are filled with too much self blame to come out and report the crimes committed against them.

With this in mind, I hope this congressional hearing grows into a full blown investigation that not only delivers justice to these women who so rightly deserve it, but also to establish law onto what Congressman Poe rightly describes as a modern “Old West”.

2 Responses to “Update On Jamie Leigh Jones”

  1. Tracy K Barker Halliburton/KBR Rape Victim

    Tracy Barker is one of the first victims to bring public awareness as she brought charges against Halliburton/KBR stating that she was sexually assaulted, given drugs to make her sleep, raped, sexually harassed while under their employ and confined to a shipping living container falsely imprisoned in 2004 while working at Camp Hope and in 2005, in Basra. Barker is a military wife and mother of 5 who worked for a Halliburton/KBR subsidiary, in Iraq while her husband served in the US military in the United States Army Golden Knights Parachute Team for the past 24 years. While there, Tracy states she was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by a State Department employee and a Halliburton/KBR subsidiary. Tracy was also retaliated against when she stood up for the Iraqi women that were being abused on Camp Hope. She was even watched when she went to the bathroom being told that they wanted to make sure she didn’t call the United States again for help including her husband and children. After these incidents, she said she was confined under orders by her employer to a living shipping container. Food was brought to her as if she was a prisoner and she was denied medical attention and any outside communications. She also claims that when she attempted to leave the camp at one point she was brought to a staging area in the middle of Iraq left with no PPE gear and had to ride in a food truck for 19 dangerous hours through Iraq with views of insurgents and starving children, this horrific journey took her back to Camp Basra.

    Barker was forced several days later to wear the same clothing the night of the assault and paraded through a crowded dining area and was told that it was a part of the State Departments investigation to see how men reacted to her. At this point she was still refused medical attention. And taken off the convoy list several times.

    Eventually, Tracy was able to use a cell phone of Kevin Rodgers, a National Guard. Tracy’s husband 1st Sergeant Galen Barker states that his wife contacted him through Rodgers. Tracy submitted National Guard Kevin Rodgers affidavit back in 2006. Tracy’s husband Galen then tried to get to Kuwait to meet with a friend who works for Black Water so that he could go into Iraq and rescue his wife who was being held like a hostage. However, Tracy continued to be held against her will by Halliburton/KBR and the State Department that continued to stall her release. Tracy was given drugs to make her sleep and to be calm from the assault by KBR/Halliburton’s medic. The following morning Tracy was raped by her supervisor. She was then rescued by Dr. David Pakkal of the State Department who took her immediately to Kuwait to report what had happened.

    Several months after returning home in July of 2005, Tracy was never able to get any answers from the State department to have charges brought. Tracy started receiving phone calls from other Halliburton/KBR SEII employees who also alleged sexual harassment and rape while in Iraq. Barker learned that a State Department investigator Lynn Falanga and a Halliburton EAP representative had given her home phone number out to an alleged gang rape victim because they thought Tracy could help her, even though they weren’t even dealing with Tracy’s case or rape.

    After returning home, Tracy asked government officials to assist in securing justice.It has been 3 years and congress refuses to help her in her case or even recognize her as one of the first victims to bring public awareness, or recognize her as a victim at all. One Congressman even stated that Tracy came through their office which was inaccurate. When Tracy heard about this she decided to call and ask for help but she was turned down. On the civil side, the State Department has not disciplined the State Department Official who has admitted to State Department investigators some of the events that Tracy described. Not only does this assailant remain employed with the State Department, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia has refused to seek an indictment against him for his conduct. When Tracy asked for answers in the investigation Tracy says that the State Department only contacted her 2 times in 3 years. Attorney Advisor Henry Norcom offered her a payment of $3,500 to drop charges against its employee for the admitted assault and to give up all her rights. Tracy refused the offer, and continues in her pursuit for justice not only for herself, but for others who have experienced the same or similar treatment while serving our country abroad.

    October 2007 Tracy was pregnant with twins and was asked to do a 20/20 interview. When this interview ran it did not cover her case entirely by leaving out facts of rape, being given drugs, put in a shipping living container, left in the desert and important filings in Barkers case no one knows why this has happened. When Tracys case was not presented fully she made ABC 20/20 fully aware immediately after it ran. Tracy claims they ignored her. ABC 20/20 also promised if she did the interview telling complete strangers about her case that they would cover her story from the beginning to the end which they have not done.

    December 19, 2007 Tracy was asked to write a statement for the Congressional Hearing of Homeland Security, Crime, and Terrorism. Tracy declined because she was invited to DC by Congressman Bob Etheridge saving her testimony for the committee. Paying her own way of $1,300.00 with a 2 hour notice Tracy arrived but when she got there she was not allowed to testify or even speak. Media was shunned away from her case. During the congressional hearing An affidavit of Letty Surman whose name Tracy submitted as one of her witness back in Dec 2005 was given to Tracy to submit to the committee. When she handed the affidavit over it was eyewitness accounts of Tracy’s office, work place, coworkers in Basra Iraq. Talks about Tracy’s accounts from her EEOC charges even names the supervisor who raped her but for some reason did not mention Tracy on this entire affidavit. Even though Tracy declined to write a statement for the Committee after Tracy came home a statement was submitted to the Congressional hearing that Tracy never wrote. Congress has completely ignored Tracy and skipped over her case entirely moving on to the others that came forward after her. Hillary Clinton even refused to help Tracy and told her that she couldn’t help because Tracy was not a New York resident. Tracy was used for a number count and her case has been ignored completely even though she is one of the first that brought public awareness.

    As for her former employer, Halliburton and its subsidiaries requested that Tracy’s case against them be resolved through a arbitration that they contend is required by her employment contract. In private, there is no judge or jury, but the case is decided by an arbitrator selected from a list of arbitrators. Recently, a federal district judge known by Judge Miller in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas agreed with Halliburton’s position and granted Halliburton’s Motion to Compel Tracy’s case against her former employer and its subsidiaries to continue proceeding in arbitration with comments in to Tracy that “sexual harassment up to assault is a reality in todays work place”. This was appealed and recently on April 25, 2008 Judge Miller sent Tracy to arbitration again. Tracy’s attorney, Stewart Hoffer of Houston, Texas, had been hired to assist Tracy with the Halliburton case as well as the case pending against the State Department official.

    While Tracy continues her pursuit for justice in her own individual case, Tracy wanted to ensure that her experience, and the experience of others, did not go unnoticed by our elected officials. But Congress doesn’t even demand justice in her case and one of the assailants is a State Department employee, it is difficult to demand justice for others especially when no one is working together.
    Tracy is working with different departments trying to save her best friends life Yousif. He has been running for his life for 2 years and is stuck in Iraq being hunted by kill units because he worked for an American Company. Tracy is working with her disability of PTSD which makes it very hard for her to write. We are looking for an author to help tell her story about her experience, challenges, and about the abuse that has taken place against Tracy since coming home to the United States, and her struggle to save Yousif while being the only military wife when these assaults happened that has come forward to this day.

    Every KBR/Halliburton SEII rape and assault victim deserves justice but it shouldnt be at the price of abusing another victim.

    Copyright 2007

  2. Barbara King says:

    Tell me-what will happen to the Jones when the truth is told about her case

    Tell me what will happen to the little prize she received fr Ted Poe will they take it from her?

    What will happen to her freedom when congress finally listens to the real truth?

    The truth is always revealed karma does exist and what goes around comes around. Everyone has supported this woman Jones and gasp at the thought of gang rape but lets review the evidence shall we? How does she know she was drugged? Was she tested NO, has she ever been drugged before and this is how she knows she was drugged? If she would have followed the legal age of drinking perhaps she would not have gotten drunk and become vulnereable. How about those statements she submitted to the congressional hearing. Did anyone really pay attention and read that in detail? No. If anyone would learn how to read including congress they would have seen that the statements mention Basra Iraq where Tracy K Barker was NOT Jamie. Remember Jamie was in Baghdad for 4 days so how in the world could she have traveled to Basra and back and still drink with the boys and become a victim of gang rape?
    Also the kevin rodgers statement, lets review that as well, Ths statement speaks about Tracy K Barker and how Kevin Rodgers leant Tracy his cell phone to call her husband who is in the Army now for 25 years. Gee lets see Jamie also used this story.
    How about being locked in a living container, well there is a statement by another witness that describes Tracy K Barker being locked in a living container and left in the middle of the desert in Iraq for dead taking 19 hours to get back to camp.

    The big question is how did Jamie get away with these statements that really did not apply to her but to Tracy K Barker and Jones getting a trial and Tracy K Barker gets arbitration, well folks its because if you look at the filings in Tracys case these statements and evidence and facts were not listed when the previous attorneys who are still Jones attys today filed these documents without them. Was it deliberate hmm I dont know. But when the truth is told it will be very interesting.

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